Group seeks to operate city’s animal shelter

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen is scheduled to consider allowing a nonprofit organization to operate the city’s animal shelter, according to Mayor Jeff Schlink.

When aldermen meet Tuesday, Jan. 14, they are set to vote on allowing the Friends of Animal Control and Rescue, or FOACAR, to rent, at a reduced cost, the existing animal shelter at 9225 Whitecliff Park Drive, in Whitecliff Park. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Government Center, 1 Detjen Drive.

In October, City Administrator Mark Sime announced the city’s animal-control position would be eliminated, effective Dec. 31, and animal-control services would be provided by St. Louis County. The cut will save the city more than $50,000 a year, Sime previously told the Call.

An agreement was reached between FOACAR and the city in which the animals could still stay at the shelter until the board meeting, Schlink said. The shelter currently houses two dogs and 27 cats, according to a FOACAR news release.

“We were trying to do everything we could to work with them, and they’ve been very good working with us,” Schlink said of FOACAR.

If approved by aldermen, FOACAR would take over all costs related to the shelter, including food, veterinary fees, medicines and bedding. The city would have no financial responsibility for the animal shelter, according to the release.

Additionally, under FOACAR’s operation, the shelter would be available to many more residents going forward.

“… These pets have a far better chance of finding a home through this private shelter rather than the county’s pound …,” the release stated.

The elimination of the animal-control position had been debated since former City Administrator Jim Eckrich recommended cutting the services in 2009.

The board deadlocked 4-4 twice — once in November 2009 and once in March 2010 — to eliminate the post. Former Mayor Roy Robinson broke both ties to retain the position. In December 2012, Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood’s motion to eliminate the city’s animal control position was defeated with a 5-3 vote.